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on 8 January 2010
Voltairine de Cleyre is still relatively unknown among scholars, and nearly invisible to the general public. This Reader is probably the best way to remedy such unfair invisibility.
It is hard to decide whether she is most important as an anarchist, a feminist, or a poetess, so the best thing to do is not to decide, but rather to embrace all three possibilities (among others). This book offers the opportunity to explore them, compare them, and cross them, thanks to texts that express a clear conscience of political debates in the late 19th century (and still relevent today), gender issues still unresolved, and powerful imagery.
The book itself, intelligibly printed on good quality recycled paper, includes endnotes that enable everyone to understand the historical and political context during which de Cleyre writes, as well as an inspired preface by Barry Pateman, a short chronology of the poetess' life, and a note on the texts, always useful and helpful.
As an academic, my only regrets are 1) the absence of dates in the table of contents (but they are in the endnotes), and 2) the lack of index (you get obsessed with indexes, when you do research).
Another, but entirely personal thing, is that they are endnotes, not footnotes. I am on the lazy side of the readers spectrum.

All in all, I recommend this book to anyone who would like to discover a good, politically engaged writer.
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